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September 23rd, 2009 by Dr. Phil

The Birth Control Debate

bControl1Hey, I want to give everyone a head’s up about the Dr. Phil show airing on Monday. We’re again featuring the Dr. Phil Family, and I will be having a very intriguing conversation with 19-year-old Katherine, the youngest daughter in the family, about sex and birth control for young girls.  It’s a conversation that I think every parent in America wants to hear, because based on recent research, I think it is representative of the mentality of many teens. I know that many parents are uncomfortable when it comes to talking to your kids about sex and birth control. And regarding birth control, the big question is: Do you offer it or not?

As a society, we seem to be pretty split over the issue of teenagers and birth control. One side believes that the only safe sex is no sex. They say if you teach kids about sex in school, a job many believe belongs exclusively to parents, that it is highly suggestive, and that if you offer birth control, you are implicitly endorsing sexual activity and giving kids permission to go out and do it.

On the other side, the proponents of teenage sex education and easy access to birth control insist that abstinence programs don’t come close to working and that it is naïve to believe parents can persuade, or even scare, their teenagers into not having sex. So, the proponents say, to keep our kids from getting pregnant or infected with a disease, they must go through a sex education program that encourages abstinence but emphasizes protected sex and proper birth control. They maintain that teens have to be equipped with the knowledge and the tools to make an intelligent decision.

bControl2I want you to watch Monday’s show and evaluate Katherine’s very candid — and I think pretty darn typical comments — and then, I want to hear what you think. Would the rate of teenage pregnancy in this country decrease if teens were taught more about birth control? Or would the opposite happen? Would sexually transmitted diseases go down, or go up? And, what would be the moral effects on our teens?

On Tuesday, after the show, I’ll put up another posting about what you wrote to me. And I’ll also let you know how I come down on the issue. See you then!

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182 Responses to “The Birth Control Debate”

  1. Angela Wolf says:

    Oh, and to add, I’ve still not been able to get pregnant………….sadly. No other ways, except to try and get some treatment, but I’d rather not take and cut my stomach to lose weight, nor would I want to be on chemicals to do so either or to have multiple kids.

  2. Wendy says:

    I have 2 daughters, ages 22 and 16. When the oldest was 14, she went to stay with her Dad and, due to lack of supervision, she became pregnant. Having a baby at 15 was very hard on her, and all of us, but she has grown into a wonderful mother and a very responsible adult. Not wanting a repeat of what happened to her sister, my youngest daughter and I decided she should go on birth control at 14. I have always been very open about sex and stressed the importance of birth control, but my oldest daughter still ended up pregnant. Young girls are just so easily talked into things and they forget what their parents have tried to teach them. I believe it is better to be safe than sorry. My daughter missed out on so much of her teenage years by becoming a mother too soon. I now have 3 granddaughters, 2 from my daughter and 1 from my son. I wouldn’t trade them for anything, but I also want my children to enjoy their teenage years, doing the things teenagers do.

  3. There seems to be an assumption that the form of birth control will be the pill, and that the onus of responsibility should fall on the girl.

    Why not make condoms available?

    Hmm, so much for cleverly disguising my position about birth-control for teens!

    I can hear some of the clever conversations now: “Son, condoms are cylindrical sheaths used to prevent the transmission of sexually-transmitted diseases between members of the banana family.” (nod to tinyflowers)

    To me, this issue is not all that difficult, but topics rooted in peoples’ faith and family/social traditions tend to bring out our more myopic points of view.

    Think honestly of your own sexual history. Are you a good person? Did you have sex as a teenager? Was that sex protecred, was it planned, was it with a person who brought no history of other partners to the encounter?

    As I have no children, I base my opinion on my own sexual experiences and on what I saw during a stint as a high school teacher. I can also attest that university-aged kids often throw moralistic taboos out the window of their dorm. I held identical conversations about relationships with 18-22 year olds as those who were 14-18 — so please, parents, keep talking, keep talking!

    What clenches it for me is the knowledge that sexual activity, something that should be special and memorable, often happens as a result of the disinhibition provided by alcohol and drugs, and by the example of peers.

    The ensuing unprotected sex can has far ranging consequences, from pregnancy to the destruction of dreams — from the unwitting perpetuation of an abusive history to death.

    I don’t think it is right for a parent to decide that these are acceptable risks.

    The parental message will remain what is most influential. Your words and the behavior you model will be infinitely more meaningful to your kids than a little square foil bit of foil packaging ever could be.

    So why not amplify the parents’ gift of good guidance with the pragmatic gift of, say… a condom sampler — because, bottom line? I could not gamble with the life of my child — satisfying the requirements of my personal moral code is not worth it.

  4. Susanne says:

    I gave my daughter a gift I was never given, knowledge and a patient ear. From an early age we talked about love and respect and what to expect from her body (I got a two page pamplet from my mom that detailed menses and confused me more than it informed me). With some help from the book “The Care and Keeping of Me” from American Girl we dicussed everything from shaving under arms to her period. And then talking of sex came more naturally (not graphic detail but generals) and the promise that when she had a steady boyfriend that all she had to do was say it was time to see a doctor. That conversation happened at 17 and off we went. She had the three month injections for a year but never had sex. After a year the decision was hers not to continue that while she and her boyfriend were still dating she wasn’t and still isn’t ready to make the commitment to a sexual relationship. In her own words “sex is something that will wait” because it carries with it a huge emotional commitment and consequences that she isn’t ready for even at 19. I wish that I had known at 19 what a gift sex is and that it isn’t to be taken lightly, I would have avoided a huge amount of heartache had I known!

  5. Tracie says:

    My daughter is 7 so it’s hard to think about topics such as sex and birth control, but I realize that one day I will have to especially in the neighborhood we live in. I’m not against birth control and plan to talk to my daughter about it one day, but hope that her aspirations in sports and her school work will take more precedence in her life than boys. In our neighborhood it’s very common for girls to have babies and drop out of school by the age of 15. That’s not acceptable in our household. Unfortunately, the majority of parents in our neighborhood are checked out of their children’s lives. Birth control is always an option, but I personally think that having a strong family and very open, nonjudgemental communication within the family is extremely important for teenagers to grow with a good sense of self, who they are and where they fit.

  6. Mitzy Roberts says:

    I think that parents should teach their kids about sex, all the facts statistics and that abstinance is best but if they are going to do it anyway be safe about it. I think that parents and schools should show teens pictures of herpies and other stds so they know what to look for on a partner and know what could happen. I think they should watch a video of a live birth and a video of an abortion. Teens do not realize the pain both physically and mentaly of having an abortion plus all the things that can go wrong during one. I had a DNC because of a misscarriage and almost died. It might work and it might not I think its best to try. When my teenage sister lived with me I explained everything to her about sex. I told her how even with a condom you can still get some stds. That you can get some stds on your mouth and in your throat. Even on the pill you should always use a condom. I told her that its best to wait till she was older and in a commited relationship. I did everything that I thought was best and she still had sex without protection. At least I tried. She does however have severe low self esteem and is extremely rebelious. So maybe if not for that she would have turned out different I don’t know. I think the biggest reason teen girls have sex is because of low self esteem. They want to feel wanted and pretty. So parents should also be very encouraging and loving to their kids. Raise them to be strong, independent, and to respect themselves. Also getting them involved in school and church activities might help. I think that parents should always make it ok for their teens to be able to talk to them. Tell them that if they had unprotected sex to come to them right away so they can get plan B to prevent pregnancy and get tested for stds. Teens need to know that they can go to their parents and that their parents will be understanding. If they think they are going to get yelled at they won’t go to their parents when they are in trouble.

  7. jenni says:

    the whole thing my parents said was “dont have sex till your married.” wow what a great sex talk. I got more information (a lot of it bad mind you) from my friends and tv then I ever did them. when I got pregnet at 16, then my parents sat back and wondered why and how this could have happened….
    now at 29 and 3 kids later, my kids dad and I have open lines of communication with my kids about sex. I have 2 boys and have told them that getting a girl pregnet (who they are not married too) will not only ruin their lives but hers too. we have talked about STDs, protection all of it. we have told them anytime they have questions about it come to us. we may not have all the anwsers but we will figure out how to get them.
    my daughter is only 5 but her time will be coming too. with girls devolping at earlier ages now her talk will be coming sooner then theirs did.

  8. Niechole says:

    Dr. Phil,

    I wanted to share how my mom and I agreed upon this subject and how it worked out for us in the most positive way. My mom and I had and still do a very close releationship, we had the understanding that she was my mom and that was priority but also that she was my best friend. She kept the dialogue very open and honest, allowing me to make my own decisions but being very aware of the consequences. When it came time when I wanted to start dating, we had agreed that i would talk to her before becoming sexually involved. Once I decided I was ready, I went to my mom where we made an agreement that if I would date this boyfriend for 6 months and it was a positive relationship, we could talk more about me becoming sexually involved. 6 months later, we did just that and my mom basically made it very clear, if you want to act as an adult and be sexually active, you have to be responsible and go get the protection I need on my own. So I did just that, which to be honest was slightly embarrased when you are going to the health department asking for birth control and then going to the local walmart for condoms, and you parents wont even go through the same checkout line as you! lol.. In the end, this worked out well, and I wasn’t one of those girls that thought, “Now I can go get in bed with every boyfriend.” I was very respectful of my body and just because I was on birth control, didn’t mean I wanted to be with everyone I dated. I really think this is the best way to do handle the birth control issue, because when its not a game, the child isn’t going to be as interested as they would if there parents were telling them no sex till your married. So the result of my parents decision was this, I have been married for 4 years and have two beautiful daughters, 3 and 4 months. I can say I have a long way till my girls reach the age of talking about birth control, but I easily see myself following the same kind of parenting my mom did.

  9. JoAnn says:

    I have a step daughter a birthdaughter and a fosterdaughter. My step daughter now 21 has been on birthcontrol since she was 13 (bleeding 20 days out of 30 made this an easy answer) and she is still a vigin. My daughter 13 has been on birthcontrol for over a year and it has helped her in many ways and yes she is still a virgin. My fosterdaughter had not been our home long when she had to make the big life disision keep it give, it up for adoption, or abortion. She is now on birthcontrol and on track to graduate college this year. My son 15 has a box of condoms in his room just in case he wants them but does not feel like he can ask for them. He and his friends talk about the box often. I have overheard them say I do not want to be a daddy right now then I would have to get a job. We talk to our kids all the time about this but I feel like they should be armed at all times.

    Giving kids birth control is not allowing them to do it. They will do it rather we approve or not. I tell all my kids I hope you would wait till marriage but if not do not be stupid about the choices that can effect you for the rest of your life.

    Im thrilled you will be having this talk with parents and kids alike. Not every child has a parent they can talk to.

  10. I agree: KNOWLEDGE is the best tool… It is redundant for everyone to LEARN the hard way so lets find common ground consensus and TEACH a better way. Reproductive activity isn’t dirty and it isn’t “sexy” it is reproductive activity at its core. Deserving choices that value and respect oneself and life and earth and all the ramifications, and beauty, thereof collectively and individually that reproductive activity entails.

    Long has been the debate of who should teach children values yet nonetheless, as a society, we
    have certain things we expect demonstrative of behaving reproductively responsibly. Parents cannot teach what they have not learned so, since many have
    not learned, the cycles continue. Emotional and Life Skill Education K-12 DAILY class since our EQ’s and HQ’s (health quotients) are as important as our IQ’s.

    H ug yourself w/healthy choices to last a lifetime including right to say NO
    U nderstand you need to learn to always be your best friend
    G et real that “sex’s” main function is reproduction not entertainment

    I remember as a teen to get birth control young ladies who were “fast” requested birth control to regulate periods even if didn’t need and some “fast” boyfriends pressured their girlfriends to request from doctor. Many young ladies legitimately took and many others put 2 and 2 together WAY back in the 60’s.

    Essentially what needs to happen is A LOT OF HONESTY. I think reading Robin’s book “Inside my Heart” stressing the importance of making choices valuing and respecting oneself IS VALUABLE.

    In other words, guys and gals sometimes say love someone when don’t to have way with or to not hurt feelings of someone or via peer pressure. I do believe, too, what an English teacher said that often women confuse sex with love to which I add often guys, and sadly now ladies too, confuse reproduction with entertainment. One of my psychology teachers in college said passion in a new relationship lasts about nine months and some confuse passion with love so hop from relationship to relationship.

    Dr. Phil, your book LOVE SMART is a must read too as are all y’all’s best sellers including Jay’s teen books “CLOSING THE GAP” etc. I’m glad y’all are opening up the lines of communication.

    My mother said if you don’t want to even kiss someone say your kisses are so special you’re saving for person you marry. There’s been research, discussed on Oprah Show, that most young ladies don’t want to engage in reproductive activity “sex” and are pressured into. I’d say that was my case.

    Sad too, for those who are fooled with “since we’re getting married it is okay” etc. by those who have no intention to marry whatsoever. Personally, IMO, when considering engaging in reproductive activity you should think, “Would I want this man or woman to be mother or father of my child” because… realistically could happen so if don’t… don’t engage. Guys are getting a DNA wake up call on that I’ve seen on some talk shows yet too, the utter sadness, that many women don’t know who father of child is…

    Often people look back to simpler times… before sex as entertainment… when things weren’t so complicated with serious emotional drama. The suppressed emotions from not just being able to feel a connection hugging has led to frantic desires. If my knees not banged up etc. I’d rather play softball or tennis or bowl because, to me, sex is reproduction not entertainment.

    Although, I did suffer from cinderella complex from Tammy & The Doctor type love stories. I wish I’d known I could join military before too old as would have been career military like my mom’s Colonel brother at Fort Hood in 70’s especially if included those birth control pills where you don’t have periods. I thought women already had to have a skill to join. Oh well… I should have asked.

    Personally, I think people are out of touch with reality and in “sexy” fantasy land finding out the hard way via consequences when reality knocks on the door… not a fairy tale whatsoever. Even that fairy tale wedding has a price tag that can start a marriage out in debt you’ve alerted many women since money a big trigger for divorce… It is redundant for everyone to LEARN the hard way so lets find consensus and TEACH a better way.

    Personally, if I could have, I would have had a hysterectomy at 13 since from day one of “becoming a woman” debilitating pain. Like many women I knew each month I’d be cyclically sick. Got in trouble at school & work. Oh, and now on applications a question: “Do you ever become so ill have to take off during your cycle?” Like my surgeon when I did have surgery when 30… I just didn’t see the point of going through that monthly ordeal to prove I’m a woman if not planning on having a child. He said worse than labor pains for some women (17 yrs. X 12 mos. for me). I noticed another woman on motherhood blog agreed with me not for her.

    I believe it is a RIGHT of people to not be made to feel like to be “normal” need to be “sexy” or personally bear children. The cavalier attitude about abortion now is barbaric from morning after pill to abortion. I’ve seen men snap at women, “Oh get that morning after pill or have an abortion!” I’ve seen women who still haven’t healed from being pressured into an abortion. Is it working for everyone? The over 50% divorce rate says it isn’t.

    I wish young ladies had seen talk show years ago with young teen boys saying young ladies stupid if believed “I love you line”. Show that show in schools and a skit with a guy changing from “I love you” to snarling “take one of those morning after pills or get an abortion” for it IS happening.

    Birth control and abortions and even adoptions are not easy on women and each have a price tag of far reaching physical and mental health risks. To me, abstaining seems the most user friendly path for young women to not be made into a sexual puppets. Realize, I’m coming from the public school trenches… perspective where rapes in stairwells and even on school buses now.

    Oh, and the health risk of people tossing in public parking lots etc. used disposable diapers and condoms is a whole Dr. Phil Show in itself. The earth cannot sustain the assault of over population & irresponsible waste of natural resources like clean water & air to fill up 99 cent stores etc. etc. etc. ETC.

    The 4th R needed in schools is respect for self and others and the earth. It is disrespectful to carelessly engage in reproductive activity and isn’t “sexy” at all and never was and never will be and is disrespectful of the essence of life, including one’s own.

    Yes, not only does putting birth control and condoms in schools encourage sex it results in young ladies being pressured into sex even more than already are… and I’ve heard some guys say the same. Guys respected me in high school, girls said, since I said No.

    However, once a young lady says yes she has a BIG X on her head labeled by many guys as having no right to say NO. Use to, we learned during Starr report, only those that didn’t fit “cute” size or mode relegated to activity one young lady engaged in in Oval Office. It is sad she had to and sad, now, becoming vogue for this to be expected of young ladies. Don’t have to fly to Las Vegas anymore although gradually guys being pressured into too. At least young ladies at a DFW public middle school, said pressured into oral activity in JUNIOR HIGH. Which, by the way, can transmit STDs too.

    Women are still wishing guys hugged them and that’s what people need to learn because that does feel good just like guys hugging each other after a game. It isn’t tabu it is essential for healthy bonding. For, see, life is a team effort and, folks… We have work to do to clean up this pig stye we’ve made of earth with you, me, WE recycling. Improve earth & children’s fate: conserve, recycle & donate. I wish as much focus was put on that because HUGGING team work activities feel good. Learn to hug and embrace and embrace life.

    Now is the time if young ladies or young gentleman who want to say NO to be empowered to say NO. Personally, I think many want fellowship and closeness without sex yet society isn’t teaching young people that.

    Some experts on Oprah said most young ladies regret losing virginity… Since men and women don’t often hug the suppressed emotions lead to frantic desires such as the viagara age we live in now. Almost to the level of giddiness that is void of sincere depth and quality relationships.

    There’s so much more to life than reproduction for entertainment so slow down everyone and come out of the back seat and bedroom… you are no longer grounded until you learn how to act “sexy”. Have fun and enjoy your classes and learn how to just hug. It’s not boring… it is smart and feels good. Try it… Freud’s personal projections got it wrong, IMO; many women still just want to be hugged and that’s all. Albeit not all women yet, if not, were conditioned otherwise and never learned. IMO. Think about it.

    One thing I noticed about many women eager to get “sexy” is many were not involved in sports or music or some other constructive endeavor. I guarantee if women learned how exhilarating riding a bike or bowling or tennis or softball is they’d see other things get those endorphins excited. We need Dr. Phil, Jay, Robin and their colleagues to begin Emotional and Life Skill Education K-12 DAILY class since our EQ’s and HQ’s (health quotients) are as important as our IQ’s.

    Multiple partners can lead to a lot of female problems so, to me, there is nothing natural or “sexy” about it at all. Personally, I think young people need a JUST SAY NO movement for lots of things like reproduction as entertainment and “women confusing sex for love.” Many could say… speak for yourself… and I am.

    Do a poll of teens who’d just as soon say NO and not have to pay sexually to get to be around guys as if that’s all a woman is good for still in 2009. You don’t have to to be “sexy” to be a “cool” guy either. Don’t hate yourself if you say YES and wish hadn’t now yet it is okay to say NO and still be cool. You do still have a right to say NO even if you have said YES. You don’t have to have sex to prove you’re “sexy,” that you like someone, or EVER if you don’t want to.

    Most of what I see is people who feel trapped by the byproduct fallout of not first thinking “is this really, I mean REALLY, what I want”. The divorce rate being over 50% proves that plus a need for EQ HQ education K-12 DAILY class. So for all the young ladies who read this and wish they’d said NO and those who want to say NO… Go for it. It is your right to say NO to all pushy salespersons who are selling you a bill of goods not in your best interest.

    Embrace your right to just say NO! We don’t need condoms and birth control in schools as much as we need self control boundaries. Choices to last a life time rather impulsive choices to wreck a life in a moment. Emotional and Life Skill Education K-12 DAILY class since our EQ’s and HQ’s (health quotients) are as important as our IQ’s. A good build needs to be associated with good health not being “sexy”. I’m passionate about the “sexy” giddiness being replaced with attractive, healthy, mature, responsible reverence in all our decision making processes. I wish us all the best choices in our life times to last a life time one healthy(ier) choice at a time.

    H ug yourself w/healthy choices to last a lifetime including right to say NO
    U nderstand you need to learn to always be your best friend
    G et real that “sex’s” main function is reproduction not entertainment

  11. Mary Larson says:

    I have a 13 year old daughter and we’ve watched your shows about teen sex and the consequences. I have told her, if she is thinking about having sex, to please discuss it with me and I would not have a problem putting her on birth control. I have had many friends and family members whose lives were changed and relationships with family members were never the same after a pregnancy and I don’t want that heartache for my daughter. They’ve lowered the age of whether a teen can be tried as an adult, why can’t they lower the age as to when a girl can get birth control without her parents permission?

  12. Becca says:

    Personally, I don’t believe in birth control. I guess it’s safe to say that I do believe that the only safe sex is no sex at all. I’m 18, and it’s worked for me thus far. “If you offer birth control, you are implicitly endorsing sexual activity and giving kids permission to go out and do it”? I guess this is why I don’t believe in birth control.. it’s the whole ‘thing’ behind it. My mother keeps telling me to get on birth control, & it’s like no matter how many times she tells me my first thought is “So you’re telling me to go out & do it?” Or something similar to that. I don’t know what it is, but in my mind birth control seems to invite girls to have sex with no risk of pregnancy. Now, I know that is not true, but it’s just what birth control suggests to me.
    Eventually, I’m sure I’ll use it, but for now I don’t plan on having sex… not anytime soon actually.

  13. Debra says:

    I was not really taught about sex, protection, and birth control as a kid. I grew up believing it’s best to wait until you’re married. But I know a lot of teens think it’s cool and want to have sex. I think that they should be encouraged to wait, but also taught about protection and birth control. Realistically we can’t stop them. They are going to do what they are going to do, just as we do. It’s nice for them to be informed about all options instead of what certain people believe, that way they can make the choice for themselves and realize the consequences of their actions.

  14. Janet Davies says:

    My mother was sick and dying of breast cancer when I was ages 14-16 so she was not able to advise me of much. Of coarse, I was a good dutiful daughter taking care of the family as she couldn’t. That didn’t leave me much time for romantic pursuits. A few days after she died I went to a public health clinic and got on the pill and had my first sexual experience. My dad would have killed me if he had found out. I always remember him lecturing my brothers about wearing condoms but the only thing he told me was to save myself for the man I was going to marry. My reply to that was, ” but dad how do I know the man I am sleeping with isn’t going to marry me?”

  15. Laura says:

    I was one of the parents who said I would never put my child on birth control, but when my daughter got pregnant at 16 (even though I had talked & talked & talked about abstinence & all that other stuff parents are suppose to talk to their kids about), I decided she needed to be on birth control. (It was kind of sad, but I was kind of glad that she ended up with a tubal pregnancy.)

  16. I believe ever state and or school dist is different in sex education. The public school my boys attend only taught absented form sex.
    Didn’t explain and biological behind. Just say “no” approach.

    So we had a little chat with our boys. One thing we didn’t want to come across is giving them a sermon.
    we told our boys if they are going to have sex you need to where a condom. To protect you from vd and both of your self from pregnancy.
    Also we told them it would be better to wait to one much older.
    Sure there the biological act behind sex.
    But how about the issues of sex even if no be comes a parent.

  17. Patti Cropper says:

    I am 57yrs old, when in my late teens Igot pregnant it created the biggest mess in my home life!!!!! My mother was with me when I found out!!!! She knew how furious my father would be!!!! So, she told my father that she wanted a divorce !!!! I couldnt let her do that since there were my brother and my sister who were still elementary and middle school age. So, I told my father everything!!!! He blew up !!!! Since I knew who the father of the baby was(at the time he was in the Army stationed in Germany)…My father called the guys parents and that is a conversation I will never forget!!!! The next morning the guy calls me from Germany and asked me to marry him!!!! That he loved me!!!! I flew over to Germany by myself and things were not like I thought it would be!!!! I ended up coming home unmarried and my father announced that the “SITUATION” was going to be taken care of his way…I was not going to ruin my life!!!!! I really hated my father that day!!!! As luck would have it I ran into complication and I nearly died !!!! My “SITUATION” was never talked about again !!!! I still had my boyfriend and when he came home from overseas things worked out really well until I found out he was cheating on me while I went to Cosmetology School and worked 2 jobs!!!! It was a BIG HEARTBREAK for ME, as I had not only lost the baby BUT the guy I loved!!!!! It took time but I got over it!!!! I was not blessed again with a another chance to bring a child into the world due to medical problems. I wish that others could learn from my MISTAKE!!!!! I have to say that my father and I after my mother passed away became very close!!!! I am not perfect, but I learned a vital lesson!!!! In many walks of learn from that time in my life!!!! I’m married now and this all seems so very long ago !!!!!

  18. Carol says:

    You know when I was in my teens I was being raped by my brother-in-law and that went on for nine (9) years from the age of twelve (12) to the age of twenty-one (21) and nobody knew because he told me that if I were to tell he would kill my family starting with my mother and let me watch. That has stayed with me all of life because I didn’t have a choice but these children have a choice not to fool around and they do anyway and that is so sad.
    I wish I could get back those years but I can’t I never got with child because he knew what to do so I wouldn’t but I was a slave to him everyday except on Fridays because me sister got out of work early and on the weekends because my family was around me and he couldn’t get away with it but sometimes he got away with it.
    All of this happened to me because my father was very ill from a stroke and my mother depended on him for everything in the house and his payment was me. But my mother never knew because she took care of my father 24/7, had a outside job and had to take care of the house and all of the children.
    In those days things like this were never spoken about at all because the word sex was almost a cus word.
    If these girls have a choice don’t give up their bodies for someone that will disappear after he knows you are with child keep your body pure until you marry please.
    I wish I had that choice but I didn’t I had my body taken away from me.

  19. Blgspc says:

    As an adolescent and young adult, my method of Birth Control was between my ears.

    Oh, we got the pamphlet, ‘What Every Girl Should Know’ and all of the girls got the very clinical speech, in the school lunch room, about the internal workings of the female body. However, it was my paternal grandmother-born in 1889- who took my twin sister and I aside and spoke in REAL clear language about procreation. I WAS SHOCKED! I found what she said DISGUSTING and felt surely PEOPLE didn’t REALLY do that! (I was 10, at the time and at some point later on- after learning that folks hadn’t exactly been really straight with me about Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy OR the Easter Bunny- I began to realized that people DID, in fact, DO THAT! I WAS FLOORED. Y‘all don‘t know how many years it was before I shook a man‘s hand, again!!!)

    Since my father was THE only real parent in our home we never had any discussion about sex. No one EVER spoke of sex, pregnancy, etc., etc. and yet I KNEW, without ever asking that if I became pregnant out-of-wedlock -EVER- that I would wind up in a shallow unmarked grave somewhere along the banks of the Waccamaw River…part of the alligators food chain. Since I really never aspired to become part of anything else’s FOOD CHAIN, it wasn’t a real stretch for me to avoid situations that could possibly result in PREGNANCY! Yep, a little bit of fear goes a long way!


  20. Jane says:

    So Mrs, Stephenson, now that I have had my kids and don’t want anymore, should my husband and I give up sex? I mean, the only reason we would have sex now is for “entertainment” (and great entertainment at that, may I add!) Yes, yes we have sex to express our love for one another, but it IS about having fun as well. Sex IS for reproduction, but certainly not solely for that purpose. That being said, education is the key and empowering our teenagers with the ability to make informed decisions. Both males and females need to be responsible for having safe sex, this isn’t just about preventing pregnancies, it’s about disease prevention as well so condoms are a far better option than the pill (both even better). Abstinence, while ideal in the minds of some, is totally unrealistic. Let’s give these teenagers REAL information and real solutions.

  21. Lauren says:

    What I tell my kids and teens I run into is ‘if you are not old enough to talk about sex and birth control with an adult, or take care of it yourself you are not ready to have sex.’

  22. Rebecca says:

    I started having sex when I was 15 (a month from my 16th b-day). My parents are very strict and wouldn’t let me go any place without them knowing “who, what, when, where, etc…”. I also was very limited on where I was acctually allowed to go (for example I couldn’t just go “hang out at so and so’s house). Oh, also my boyfriend and I were in the same youth group at church. We would sneek off at church outings and “do it”. If a teenager wants to have sex they are going to! Even with all that supervision I was still haveing sex, and it was unprotected! I was homeschooled at the time so I couldn’t get any type of protection from a school nurse or what have you.

    I think kids should have access to birth control because thinking that most kids are not going to have sex is crazy! If I could do it with all the restrictions I had in place anyone can!

    I want to add that my husband waited until he was 19 and in college. He had dated his girlfriend for years before they had sex. So, SOME teens may wait longer but that is not what usually happens!

  23. Rebecca says:

    I want to add that I am the mother of 4 daughters. They are young now (ages 7, 7, 6, and 3…yes we have twins). We already talk to them about sex (well, we havn’t used the word “sex” but we talk about things on an age correct level). I just don’t want people thinking that I am just going on and on and don’t know what I am talking about.

  24. Dr. Phil says:

    As many of you point out, I agree that there is too much emphasize on the girls when we talk about birth control. Some boys sometimes seem to almost get a pass which is just wrong. I think parents of boys should invest as much energy talking to their sons about responsibility and birth control as they do their daughters. The sad fact is that sometimes the boys just walk away when an unplanned pregnancy occurs, an option the girls just don’t have.

  25. Christine says:

    When i was in my early teens I had to take birth control to regulate my period, because I have PCOS.

    I have to say, I didn’t have sex until I was 19 years old, graduated from highschool, and was engaged to who is now my husband.

    I dont think Birthcontrol makes someone WANT to have sex, I dont think it promotes sex, I never thought, “I’m on birthcontrol, I should have sex”. I think my mom was my inspiration for not wanting to have sex until I was ready. My mom had her child when she was 17, My oldest sister.

    I do know many girls who were in school with me, who ended up being pregnant, because their parents didn’t talk to them about sex. They thought if they talked about sex, it would encourage them. If those teens had been informed, and had been on birth control, they would not have had children.

    When I was in school, a girl had a baby, and had the child taken away. She got pregnant again, and had another child. When she found out that child would be taken away too, because she was young. She killed herself.

    I think teaching teens, about different forms of birth control, including condoms, is the best way to prevent teen pregnancy. If a teenager wants to have sex, there isn’t anything stopping them. Parents can only inform a teenager, and educate them to the best of their abilities. Even the best of parents, cant convince their teenagers to not have sex, because in some case, peer pressure can be stronger than parenting.

    I’m 25, married, and have a 9 month old son. We planned for our son, and did everything right. I do think teens should wait, I’m not promoting teen sex.

    But Parents need to TALK, Educate, and give the teenager options. Never push your own beliefs on your children, just instruct them to the best of the ability, teach them everything you know, but be honest, tell them there are options. Or else you would just scare them from talking to you, and being honest with you.
    I would rather know my child is having sex, than living in a cloud where everything is perfect. Knowing helps you make sure they are protecting themselves, making the right decisions, and respecting themselves, and their own bodies. You dont have to be okay with it. Punishing them wont stop them, and you cant always be around them 24/7.

  26. Cassandra says:

    Honestly, I want to know what level of naivete it takes to believe that if we don’t teach teenagers about sex, they won’t know about it. Sex is a natural part of growing up, and teenagers are going to learn about it, regardless of whether or not we actually play a role in teaching them.

    However, if we, as a society, do decide to collectively pull our heads out of the sand and accept the fact that we are physically prepared for sex much sooner than we are either emotionally or mentally prepared for the ramifications of sex, and take the same approach toward teaching it, then I think we would have a much better chance at raising a generation of teenagers who can approach the subject intelligently. Part of that means educating both young men and young women on appropriate methods of birth control and disease prevention. Not using scare tactics to convince them if they have sex before they’re twenty-five they’ll grow hair on their palms or that it’ll fall off, but giving real, relevant information that allows them to make rational decisions.

    All that the current attitude does is encourage an overall atmosphere of secrecy and shame around sex, and “don’t ask, don’t tell” philosophy. It can’t scare teenagers into not having sex, and anyone who thinks so obviously forgets who it was like to be a teenager with all those hormones. Instead, those teenagers are sneaking around, with no information or misinformation, and getting in over their heads. Then, once they are already faced with the consequences, they’re left to pick up the pieces, and then find out what they should have asked.

    An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

  27. Paradoxis says:

    I can’t help but think of all the girls out there who’s sex education quite literally began in the family. I think lesson number one should be for parents – don’t have sex with your kids and don’t let anybody else either. Protection (and birth control) should start at home.

  28. Asha says:

    We must be honest with our kids, and with ourselves. I made the choice to have sex at 18. I have no regrets, and I frankly do not advocate “waiting for marriage,” because I think it’s important to know in advance if you are compatible in bed or not. I also think you can’t really know if you’ve had good sex if you’ve only had it with one person. I’m not saying you have to be promiscuous. But only one partner, ever? Really?

    Kids will respond to being trusted with the truth about their bodies. And when they hit their late teens, it is their decision, whether we approve of it or not–and their consequences, too, which is why I advocate teaching kids about the consequences of their actions well before puberty.

  29. Sheila Stone says:

    I am a mother of 6 children, 3 boys and 3 girls. We all know there is a big difference between raising boys versus girls. I was a single mother at 17 years of age during the time when you were asked to leave school when you started to show. I refused until they asked my parents to remove me the last 6 weeks of my pregnancy. I graduated high school with a diploma 4 weeks after my son was born. I luckily had great parents, at the time I thought they were the worst, they were supportive as they could be, but I felt the shame my parents felt the entire 9 months of my pregnancy. My mother basically asked me to hide in the basement. My father didn’t talk to me for 9 months, but we my son was born my father bought me a carnation flower arrangement that looked like a milkshake and the card read “thank God it’s over”. I took this as the biggest hurt, but years later found out from him he meant that I had come through this healthy, my son was healthy, and with more inner strength from going through it so publically in school.

    Good thing I had brains. I started a very good career with the Bell Company’s when I was 17, three months after my son was born. I didn’t know about welfare and all the freebies out there, all I knew was I wanted to be able to support my son, and succeed as a parent.

    I watch the talk shows where they have girls on there wanting to have children and think back on my experience. What they say is what I felt too, but quickly realized there is more to parenting then having someone to love you unconditionally.

    I started very young will all 3 of my daughters, and my sons. I take every opportunity to remind them of the path I choose, how it impacted their childhood, and the opportunities they have in front of them from their choices come actions which cause reactions.

    When I found out my oldest daughter was pregnant at 19 years old it didn’t numb the pain any that she was planning her wedding already when she found out. We had to move the wedding up 6 months. I still felt somehow I had failed her, failed getting the point accross when we talked so much about sex, relationships, birth control. She was on the pill, she had endometriosis, and had been on the pill since age 15 not from being sexually active but because of her endometriosis. I always thought wow that’s a bonus don’t have to fight about getting on the pill because she went on for her health. She was on an antibiotic on and off over a 3 month period of time when she got pregnant.

    I think she felt my frustration so when she got pregnant not long after her first daughter, she hid the pregnancy from me. Since she is over weight I couldn’t really tell, but when I was suspect I confronted her. She had gotten no pre natal care. Imagine how horrified I was being first a mother then a registered nurse. This was a intelligent woman. I went to the ER with her because it was a Saturday, by the date of her last period I suspected she was due any day. Here’s the kicker, with her first pregnancy she had a C-section that did not heal well and if she were to ever have a child again she would have to have a C-section. So here at the ER they confirmed yes she is pregnant, yes she is due anytime, and she is having contractions now. Zoomed up to the OB unit, ultrasound showed twins, placenta blocking cervix. Zoom emergency C-section. Her husband stayed in the waiting room, I went in. Baby A out and crying…baby B was a twin to twin transfusion, not completely formed. Sad. Did I mention this was on September the 11th of 2005. lol. There is so much more to this, but I will go to daughter number 2.

    My step daughter, who I usually just say my daughter, was saying since she was 12 she wanted to have a baby. She refused birth control, refused to see the GYN for a consult, I tried everything to convince a doctor to give her the birth control shot but they wouldn’t. Then when my older daughter had her first my second daughter thought humm maybe I will wait. Alot happened between 12 and 18, but she didn’t get pregnant. I breathed a sigh of relief each month I bought pads and tampons. lol Again I kept talking openly, listening, and anything else I could do. At 18 daughter number 2 got pregnant. Unlike daughter number 1 she had no job, her mother let her drop out of school at 17, so she rebounded to me and her father. She is now a single mother of a soon to be one year old. Since her mother lived off the system so is she.

    My now 9 year old, one more chance. LOL. I tell you as a parent we all know we can try all we want. I did the books, videos, open talks, bought condoms, took them to appointments, loved them unconditionally, I tried it all. I laughed at Oprah’s show on how to talk to your daughter about sex because I had even done that one to, yep the self gratification, the buy a dildo, whatever it took.

    Do I wish it had gone differently, I sure do. Would I change the beautiful grand daughters I have. Sure wouldn’t. Is it hard the amount of financial burden it has put on me. Sure is. Another life lesson. My girls are healthy, they are trying to go forth in their own lives the best they can. They are beautiful, I love them, and they were older than the 15 my mother was when she became prenant and gave birth at 16. They were older than I was when I became pregnant at 16 and gave birth at 17. So here’s to another generation, maybe they will be over 19.

    The 3 boys I have, you wonder, they got it. LOL. They have a respect for women, know how to use protection, they are 20, 22, and 28. They do not have children yet.

    Here’s to the next generation. It takes the whole family to raise the children, love them, hold them, protect them, but most of all give the knowledge and strength.

  30. Tami says:

    I agree with Mitzi Roberts above when she mentions that education is a necessary tool when teaching kids about sex. They should see all of the possibilities up front and sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words. Show them the herpes blisters, a birth, an abortion, etc. and then educate them about all the possibilities. I think that carrying the box of eggs around, treating it like a baby, is a great education tool from the school system point of view as this at least gives the kids a very remote idea of what caring for an infant is like. Include education on birth control and abstinence. Unfortunately, many children today don’t have good caring parents supporting them so they don’t have the tools to make the best decisions when the time in their life to become sexually active comes around. Knowledge is power so using everything possible to educate kids on this very important decision is vital.

  31. Joyce Long says:

    Birth control at the age of 13,, I dont think so… I have a 13 yr old, a 26 yr old and a 29 yr old. Both the 26yr old and the 29 yr old never was put on any type of birth control. The 29 yr old still isnt. The 26 yr old is because at 19 that is what she decided she wanted. Yes she had her first child when she was almost 18, but that was after she was living with her soon to be husband. Of course they are not still together but that is another story. The 13 yr old wants to be put on birth control to stop her periods but I said no way not at 13. I dont know, she is different than the other 2 were, more popular. I beleive putting a child on birth control gives them permission to have sex. She may or she may not do it anyway. Who knows.

  32. Beverly says:

    In terms of birth control I have 2 children now grow but when my son was 15 I gave him a condom and told him it was not a excuse to have sex. I had been talking to him about sex as he grew up. When given the condom there was also instructions to go with it. I told him that it was mark and if I asked to see it he had to have it. He could not say I gave it to someone else to use he had to have the 1 I gave him. If he did feel he needed to use it he also had to have a signed note from the girl that she consented and he had to sign and date it. I told him I woul rather he waited until he was married to have sex but, I was young once too and wished my mom would have talked to me. He did use the condom and did have a signed note with the girl and his siged name and date. I as a mother did not like that he was having sex but was glad to know he had protection if he did.
    With my daughter she was on birth control at age 14 she was told not to have sex also but as a mom I remembered when I was young and was glad I had her on birth control. She had to have a note also if she had sex. As a mother I really did not want to know but am glad I had my many talks with them as they grew up. As a family there is nothing we did not talk about. So I guess even though as parents we don’t want our kids to have sex but they need to learn about birth control. My opion as parents start in the early years age appropriate and keep the talks going. My children did not always like the talks but they did bring us closer together.

  33. Joyce Long says:

    The main reason I am so against birth control is that I have heard there is a higher chance of getting breast cancer, cervical cancer and other cancers from birth control, also there is greater risk of heart attacks and strokes. I know she is only 13 but I worry about that.. That is the whole reason I never ever took birth control and the reason I never put the older 2 girls (ages 26 and 29 now) on it. Is all this just a myth and am I worried for nothing??? She is only 13 is another major factor. I dont want her to get the impression I am advocating her having sex, she wants it to stop her periods.

  34. Raquel says:

    i found your topic really interesting, and it impresses me that you haven’t make it public before.

    These days the younger people can’t control themselves, that’s why the should know about the birth control.

    Parents can’t accept that their childs have sex, but one way or another it’s going to happen because that’s what the pressure of generation teach them to do.

    everything we see involves sex, so, you can imagine…

    i’m 16 years old and my mom forbids me to have a boyfriend, but i don’t forbid it myself. i just try to respect myself, and find the right one. Our parents are always going to worry about the sex thing, but in most cases they don’t even know what’s going on. that’s why most of the girls are pregnant, because, in this time, we should know how to protect us, but our parents always forbids, and don’t teach us.

    we should learn, even if we don’t do it. it’s like college, why do we want so many maths in high school?

  35. Sarah says:

    After reading a lot of the responses I felt like I could tell my story and not feel embarrased nor ashamed to do so. When I was 13 years old I was raped at my family’s church. At which time I contracted Human Papilloma Virus also known as HPV or genital warts. I never told anyone including my parents. In hindsight, this is something I regret. Because i was 20 before a doctor discovered the HPV during a visit after I had gotton married and discovered that we were expecting our first child. Now, I had known for a long time that something wasn’t quite right meaning i had something growing around my anus of which I had just assumed was hemhroids. Considering most female members of my family had them I didn’t think of it being anything else. Now as I entered my second trimester of my pregnancy I had to have surgery to remove the warts because they were to big to freeze off like they normally do and because of hormonal fluctuations I was in constant agony. And I also couldn’t have my baby vaginally because i could have transmitted it to my baby as she passed through the birth canal. So not only was I violated as a 13 year old girl by someone I trusted in a place that should have been safe but i was also deprived of experiencing one of life’s greatest joys. Now I tell you this to say that had my parents of spoken to me openly about sex and even spoken of STD’s and what they were and what to look for I might have discovered that i had this long before I did. But, I do not blame my parent’s for this. I blamed myself for a long time but I am gradually getting over that. However, I am someone who has 2 children a daughter who is 4 and a son who is 3 and my husband and I have already decided that our children will be spoken to early on about sex and the responsibilities of both parties. I don’t believe the girl is solely responsible nor is the boy. I also believe that starting early will help them open up to you later. I have also decided from my history and the statistics on HPV that my daughter will geth the new vaccine against HPV. I want my children to have what I didn’t and my husband didn’t. Information! And I am seriouslly considering starting my dauther on birth control once she begins her menstral cycle. Because contrary to some relgious and family beliefs. We don’t personally believe in abortion and the catholic church doesn’t believe in birth control. But, I firmly believe that god would much rather someone use birth control to prevent unwanted pregnancies to reduce the risk of number one an abortion or two a child being born that wasn’t wanted and being neglected and abused. And to god forbid someone to kill their baby.

  36. Linda RH says:

    I think having a close relationship with your children and knowing them well will be the greatest deterrent from getting pregnant. Some children need “the talk” at an earlier age than others.
    I don’t think it’s a good idea to tell them you will supply contraceptives until they start dating seriously with somebody, as telling them this could make them think that it’s OK to have sex with the first person they date. But then again, it depends on how well you know your own child. Will they feel comfortable coming to you for advice?
    I do think it’s a good idea to talk with them about pregnancy and how difficult, time consuming, and expensive raising children can be. Babysitting can be an eye opener, as can having infant brothers and sisters.
    I will be interested to watch the show and see what is said.

  37. Leslie Blue says:

    When I lost my virginity at age 17, my Mom took me straight to my doctor and he put me on The Pill. Because I felt “safe” then back in my day, I never used condoms… So by age 24, after contracting the somewhat then obscure STD chlamydia, I was left sterile and unable to get pregnant for the rest of my life anyway. At now age 55, I have no regrets about not ever having children. However, it would have been nicer if I had been able to make that choice by myself, rather than having it be decided for me, by my own stupidity in not ever practicing really SAFE sex. My point is — birth control is great and an absolute necessity for sexually active young women to practice faithfully. But don’t be ignorant like I was, and always remember, no matter what form of birth control you use, you still MUST ALWAYS USE A CONDOM. Because Sexually Transmitted Diseases and other infections of the reproductive organs are every bit as important a matter to avoid as is pregnancy.

  38. Elizabeth Daly says:

    I believe that teenagers are going to have sex, no matter what they say. The best we can do is teach them about safe sex and inform them of the diseases out there. We shouldn’t sugar coat it. Just give them the straight facts. At least they can then make an informed decision.

  39. Dr. Phil says:

    Sarah, please, please, please do not blame yourself for ANY part of what happened to you at age 13. Your parents clearly weren’t perfect but I’m sure they did the best they could with what they knew at the time. When we know better, as you do now (a lesson you paid dearly for), we do better. There is nothing for you to forgive yourself for. You were a victim plain and simple. I don’t know that you should start your daughter on birth control as soon as she hits puberty but you have many years to assess her situation between now and then. Love your self as you do your family and be thankful that all of you are healthy now. God Bless you all.

  40. MetroidJunkie says:

    Though you shouldn’t have sex until you’re ready, I do believe it’s kind of futile trying to scare or persuade teenagers into not having sex. While it should be discouraged against sex until one is ready, safe sex practices should still be taught should those teenagers act upon the urges.

    While it may be true no sex is better than safe sex, that’s unrealistic. Atleast, this way, any teenagers that give into the desire and have sex will be doing so in a less risky way. By teaching about safe sex while, at the same time, encouraging abstinance until ready, I believe it takes the lowest risk possible and, therefore, is the best course.

  41. SHEA says:



  42. Susani Sacca says:

    Dear Dr Phil,

    Ok I am just going to say this because I am not ashamed and it does lend it self to this conversation regarding my oldest daughter Hayley who is 23 married and who blew my mind a few months back when she came back from a cross country trip finding herself.

    This little spit fire was a handful starting in middleschool giving me every single gray hair on my head. She also smoked, cut school, cut herself, ran away the whole nine yards. She was my first born child who actually made me a better person for having her.

    She confessed to me that MY FATHER on the way home from middleschool at his house inapproirately touched her while making snacks after school one day. This freaked her out. I was sexually abused by him and my brother so what I did as a Momma was OVER PREPARE MY CHILDREN not only with code words I was hyperviglent and I never thought in a million years he would ever attempt to touch his own grandchild.

    She Hayley was stuck inbetween a rock and a hard place. A mother saying if anyone ever touched you in that way would be killed I was raising 3 kids as a single Momma and the love my daughter had for her grandpa.
    I sat at my home in Ohio for 4 days and listened to her side of everything without judgement or blame. There was alot of crying and hugging and supporting her.

    This exereince has molded her like my own exerpiences have molded me. I was out in the world all alone but I told her I believe you and I support you and how you may want to proceed is entirely up to you. In regards to telling my mom or other family members etc.

    Sexual abuse incest destroys people. and it can ruin lives and ruin relationships which could be healthy and that is what I meant about being over prepared.
    I did the best with what I had and well maybe if I didnt say I would kill whoever we could have together have gone to the police but now its too late he is dead.

    It is really great you are responding in your blogs DR PHIL!

    Susani Sacca

  43. Katie says:

    I was raised going to a Lutheran school from pre-school until 8th grade. We weren’t taught a whole lot about sex other than it was used for reproduction and was only supposed to happen when you were married. There was NEVER a talk about condoms or the pill or any other form of birth control. I went to a public high school, and it was mostly the same way… they didn’t care so much about the marriage part though. They informed us more about STDs and pregnancy, but not even my high school health classes did the whole “condom on a banana” routine. There just wasn’t much of a discussion when I was brought up.

    One night I remember my parents having my sister and I leave the room so they could talk to our 2 brothers about condoms. But they didn’t include us in the talk. I don’t remember my mom ever talking to me about sex or the pill. When she finally asked me about all that, I wasn’t even a virgin anymore. Even scarier to me, I had been having sex and didn’t even know how the condom was supposed to be put on. I just assumed that the guys knew and trusted how they did it.

    Now I look back and think “if I hadn’t been taught, who’s to say he was taught?” For all I know the guys could’ve been looking for me to react and say “hey that’s not on right” but since I never did, they could have been assuming it was on properly. And I am very lucky, because I was not on the pill when I first started having sex, and the first man I was ever with did not have it on right. It is so scary for me to look back at all of this and I thank God nothing happened. When Mom finally asked “have you done it, or are you thinking about doing it?” all I did was pause for a moment and look at her and she said “that’s a yes, you’re getting on the pill.” She had all the conversations later trying to talk me out of having sex, not knowing I had already done it.

    I learned most of the stuff I know about sex, from actually doing it. Or I learned stuff from the guys I was doing it with. I don’t want that to be the same way for any future kids I may have. If I have kids, I plan on talking to them about sex. I don’t want them running around hearing God knows what and doing it with whoever they can get their hands on. I want them to know they can come to me with any questions or concerns they might have, and know that I will not judge them or the decisions they make. I firmly believe the parents should be the biggest teacher when it comes to sex education for kids. And I want to teach my kids what is right from what is wrong, and teach them all about birth control and how to use it properly. And hopefully if they need it they can come to me to get it for them, or they can go get it for themselves and be safe that way. I definitely think there’s no way to stop kids from having sex… so the best thing to do would be to teach them how to do it and keep themselves protected.

  44. Paradoxis says:

    It concerns me to hear people talking about putting their daughters on birth control as a pre-emptive strike, so to speak. I think it should only be offered if the girl says she is considering becoming sexually active. Taking oral contraceptive is not something to be taken lightly.

    When a girl first starts menstruating, it takes a few years for her cycle to really establish itself. It’s *normal* for it to be irregular at first. I don’t think it’s a good thing to chemically control something so natural so early unless it is truly medically called for. It’s like, she’s not done growing yet. She’s only just starting to mature, you know?

    I was put on the pill before my periods had established themselves and suffered consequences of that years later. My body kept growing and changing. In the end, my body’s reaction to the pill also changed, and I became high risk of blood clots and stroke. Now, I can’t take any form of oral birth control whatsoever.

    My hormones have been messed up for years, and I can’t help but wonder what role oral contraceptives played in my reproductive system development.

  45. Wendy says:

    Sarah….Dr.Phil is so right! I didn’t have the same situation but I was molested at the age of 11. When my mom found out she said not to tell anyone, she wouldn’t even look me in the eye and left me standing there and walked off. I was mad at myself because I felt like I let it happen because there was 2 adults in the car, and I was mad at here because she wasn’t there for me. Now, 20 years later, I don’t think my mom knew what to do. That doesn’t really excuse how she handled it but I agree with Dr. Phil that I think she did the best with what she knew how to do at that time. Now I have had to deal with my 8yr. old being exposed to by a cousin and it broke my heart. I hope I handled it best I could. I still feel guilty at times because I feel like I wasn’t there to pretect her and I had vowed when I became a mom that would not happen to my girls!! It was reported and he is getting help, but I still worry about her later on when it gets closer to her teen years! I have no clue on where I stand with birth control. I have mixed feelings! I wish you the best Sarah and anyone else out there struggling with the same thing! God Bless you Dr. Phil for all you do…..no one else handles the topics you DO!!!!!

  46. Meg says:

    Teens are going to have sex regardless of any scare tactics from parents and elders. The best shot parents and educators have in preventing teen pregnancy and protecting teens’ health is making them aware of birth control methods and having open lines of communication. Teens are not going to feel comfortable approaching their parents or teachers about this topic if they feel that they will be scrutinized.
    And as for the discussion on the pill goes, the birth control PILL itself is used for many health issues and gynecological diseases as well as preventing pregnancy. The stigma that goes along with the pill is unfair. Not everyone who is on it is using it to prevent pregnancy.

  47. tete-a-tete says:

    Just reading some of the responses would be a eye opener for a lot of young people….lots of life lessons there.
    I think sex ed taken out of the home promotes the objectification of intimate activity as if it were a sport and if a sport injury occurs, there is a pill or procedure one automatically gets. Relationship is not emphasized enough, especially for boys.
    Neither are the dangers of using birth control plls at a young, hormone developing time of life, let alone for possibly 35 to 40 years! It seems females end up being medical guinea pigs not just for the various birth control pills, but the “morning after” pill, and now the possibly preventive cancer vaccination. (How about more advertising of the vaginal condom? Also, an oral condom since oral sex can lead to herpes and cold sores,etc.)
    I guess its too late to try to revive the rumor that girls have cooties and boys should stay away from them. Too bad, since kids could concentrate on learning to read, write, and do math back before sex ed.

  48. carmel says:

    My feelings on birth control is that it is wrong,cause if it came into law it would have that once a again men would have a another way in controling their women or in other ones we would be going back in time when women did not have rights.

  49. Chris Bar says:

    As a junior high school counselor and former elementary school counselor, I am happy to see that many of you care deeply about your children. PLEASE know that sex is happening MUCH younger than 14 and even with good girls and good families! Please talk to your kids. They need you!

  50. Mary says:

    I’m looking forward to watching today’s show.What little I’ll be able to see I’m sure will be interesting. Due to the digital age I’m only able to get two channels and NBC is one of them.It’s mostly pixilated but if it doesn’t rain I’ll be watching!As for the birth control debate I am a good argument FOR birth control!My mother and father were married when she was 16 and he was 21. She was expecting my eldest brother at the time! My father wanted a daughter and told her she would be having children until she had a girl! She didn’t want to have a third child but she did.That child was me.She made no attempt to hide that fact. I tried to please her EVERY day of my life. Her rejection of me has DESTROYED my life! When I had my son at the age of 21 she stole him! From the day I brought him home she started turning him against me. By the time he was learning to talk she was getting him to call HER momma!!! My father loved her so much he wouldn’t believe anything negative I would say about her.That is until the day he heard it himself.Still he stayed with her,she was the love of his life.After he passed away in 1997 life became so much harder. In 1999 I moved back into the house to take care of my mother. She passed away on New Years Eve 2007. Her FINAL ACT of rejection was to leave her disabled child who took care of her for nearly ten years HOMLESS! I was FORCED into buying a house that I can’t afford to keep from living on the street! My son will not come to visit me. I cannot afford the upkeep on this house.I have broken storm windows so my heating bill runs about $200.00 per month! I can’t afford to have my furnace cleaned so I will probably die here with my mother’s voice in my head. “You’re only here because your father FORCED me to have you!”. Yes, she cried rape. I grew up hearing that all my life! My bed time stories were not the normal stories a mother would tell. My stories were about all the bad things that happened to my brothers because they didn’t listen and OBEY their MOTHER! I was always afraid I would disappear. She shouldn’t have had me! I shouldn’t be here!

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